in the news on-line, today, 2 july 2012

00:42:08 local time map of china CHINA

* China’s sportswear brands nurse Olympics hangover:

China’s Olympic hero Li Ning wasn’t just walking on air when his country hosted the 2008 Games. Suspended by wires, he ran a mid-air lap around the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, Olympic torch in hand, to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony.

His eponymous sportswear company was flying high too. Li Ning and the four other largest local brands opened a combined total of about 11,000 stores across China between 2008 and 2011 – an average of 10 per day.

But just weeks before the London Olympics, Li Ning and its big competitors are retrenching, stuck with heavy inventories and slowing demand in a $19 billion industry still led by foreign titans Nike and Adidas. read more.

* China widens pension coverage as population ages:

China on Sunday launched a campaign aiming to provide pension insurance to all rural residents and unemployed citizens in order to help the country cope with its aging population.

“We must ensure that the new pension insurance system covers all rural residents and unemployed urbanites by the end of this year,” said Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, at a launching ceremony for the campaign held in Xibaipo, a village in north China’s Hebei province. read more.

* Global war against textile technology copycats – UCMTF:

The French Textile Machinery Manufacturers Association (UCMTF) invited the press at the end of ITMA ASIA + CITME in Shanghai this June 2012. The informal and friendly meeting made possible direct contacts between the textile journalists and the machinery manufacturers, their Association’s President, Bruno AMELINE and Secretary General, Evelyne CHOLET.

– Business was good at ITMA ASIA.

“Our customers are finalising many projects and, as our orders backlog is already good, delivery time is increasing for all the machinery producers. Customers from China of course but also from India, Pakistan, Thailand and Iran visited our booths, they were particularly interested by our new technologies and our service approach” reports Evelyne CHOLET. read more.

* Xinjiang raises minimum wages:

Western China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has raised its minimum monthly and hourly wages, local authorities announced on Friday.
After the wage hike, which took effect on June 1, minimum monthly salaries — before deductions for pension, unemployment, medical insurance and housing payments — were raised to 1,340 yuan (211 U.S. dollars), 1,140 yuan, 1,060 yuan and 980 yuan under four subdivisions. They have been increased by an average of 18.95 percent, according to a press release issued by the regional human resources department.
Minimum hourly wages, which have been upped by 1.8 yuan, now range from 9.8 yuan to 13.4 yuan across the region.
China adopted a minimum wage system in 1993, under which base rates in different provinces, municipalities or autonomous regions are decided by local governments.
to read.

* Needlework craft given protection following ups and downs:

THE art of Xinzhuang crochet can be traced back to the early 1900s when a French missionary brought samples of European-style embroidery to the Xujiahui Cathedral as a gift.
The church figured it could earn some money from selling embroidered tokens and entrusted the work to a weaving workshop in Xinzhuang.
Xinzhuang weavers combined the European style with Shanghai knitting skills in an art form that came to be known as Xinzhuang crochet.
In the beginning, embroidered products were mainly used as lace for the robes of priests and nuns and for curtains, tablecloths and pillowcases.

In the 1920s, the local textile industrial was strongly impacted by imported yarn and cloth, and women in the industry turned to weaving lace to make a living. Meanwhile, weavers also started teaching crochet to earn extra money. read more.

* China named as emerging retail market by AT Kearney Index:

A.T. Kearney’s Global Consumer Institute released the 2012 Retail e-Commerce Index, “Online Retail: The New Frontier for International Expansion.”

This index examines the top 30 countries in the 2012 A.T. Kearney Global Retail Development Index and ranks the top 10 based on the retail e-commerce potential. The 2012 Retail e-Commerce Index reveals that large emerging markets with an active online user base and solid infrastructure offer retailers the greatest e-commerce potential in the near-term.

The Retail e-Commerce Index analyzes 18 infrastructures, regulatory and retail-specific variables to help retailers devise successful global e-commerce strategies and identify emerging market investment opportunities. The higher the ranking, the more potential a country has in the e-commerce sector. read more.

 23:42:08 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Garments feeling the pinch:

Embattled EU is main market for the industry

Garment and textile exporters predict a 15% contraction in their exports this year in the worst-case scenario of severe effects from the EU debt crisis.
Vallop Vitanakorn, an adviser to the Thai Garment Manufacturers Association (TGMA), said garment exports in the first five months totalled US$1.21 billion, down by 9.2% year-on-year. The biggest contraction was recorded in April at 22%, but exports recovered in May.
For textiles, exports during the five-month period reached $1.75 billion, down by 18.8% year-on-year. read more.

* Six working groups to be set up to push Thai exports growth:

Six working groups are to be set up to push Thai exports to achieve 15 percent growth as targeted this year, following a meeting about Thai export strategy held on Saturday, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra chaired the meeting which was attended by economic ministers and relevant parties.

The six working groups will concern: (1) laws and regulations, (2) situation monitoring and driving exports, as well as negotiations for a free-trade agreement between Thailand and the European Union, (3) industrial sector monitoring for better understanding of export problems, (4) trade and cross-border trade, (5) strengthening of existing markets in China, Japan, South Korea and North America, and (6) new market penetration with a long-term evaluation such as in South Africa, Chile, Peru and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. read more.

* Tesco Lotus kicks off new Bt300m Roll Back promotion:

Tesco Lotus has unleashed its latest Bt300-million “Roll Back” promotion.
“Customer surveys indicate that Tesco Lotus has been clearly seen as the price leader in Thailand, following the successful launch of the ‘Number 1 for Price’ campaign in February,” Kurt Kamp, chief marketing officer, said yesterday. “With this latest chapter in the story of Number 1 for Price, we are once again helping customers save even more with our everyday low prices in every category.”
Prices have been slashed across the entire range of products. read more.

23:42:08 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Ford Glory workers seek better benefits:

Nearly 300 workers from Ford Glory (Cambodia Manufacturing Limited] travelled to Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday to ask it to cancel its “protection warrant”, which would send employees back to work without the company meeting their demands for health benefits, as well as transportation and food allowances, worker representatives said.

Din Sam Ath, president of the Cambodian Federation of Labour Unions, said yesterday that Judge Duch Kimsorn told the union that the protection warrant is not effective yet, and that workers could continue their strike.

“I pity the workers who tried very hard to strike in order to demand benefits and better working conditions,” he said.

Ham Phea, a lawyer for Ford Glory, said that workers didn’t provide sufficient advance notice for the strike as required by law, and that labour laws don’t require the factory to provide the benefits demanded. read more. ( It’s not a car factory, which at first I thought, sorry :)- j.)

* Free Trade Union breaks from ally:

Free Trade Union president Chea Mony has announced that his union will leave the Cambodian Confederation of Unions and sever all ties with its long-time ally, the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association.

In a letter to Minister of Labour Vong Sauth, dated June 27 and obtained by the Post yesterday, Mony said the split from CITA, with which it formed the CCU in 2006, was due to policy differences.

“Recently, the activities of CCU has been contrary to the aims and targets of [FTU], which demands our workers’ interests are taken care of and stability is maintained in the textile industry,” the letter states.

“Therefore, [FTU] would like to announce an end to its alliance with CITA and to say it is not under the roof of CCU anymore . . . [whose] actions from now on do not reflect [FTU].” read more.

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:

1. Free Trade Union breaks from ally. read more.

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:

2. Free Trade Union splits from Cambodian confederation of unions. read more.

00:42:08 local time map of singapore SINGAPORE

* Asian Tour names Abacus as official sponsor partner:

Swedish sportswear company, Abacus will become the Official Apparel Partner of the Asian Tour, providing a wide range of stylish apparel for officials and staff members of the Asian Tour following a two-and-a-half year agreement until the end of 2014.

Through this new and exciting partnership which was announced today, Abacus will also develop a collection specifically for the Asian Tour, which is the region’s elite professional golf circuit. read more.

00:42:08 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Lower Sales & Margins, Apac Citra’s Losses Expanded:

Textile giant PT Apac Citra Centertex (MYTX) Tbk booked net loss of Rp18.9 billion in the first quarter of 2012 on falling sales and squeezed margins.
Apac Citra reported sales revenue of Rp403.8 billion in the quarter ended March 31, 2012, dropped 31% from the same period last year. Export sales slashed 50% to Rp174 billion.

Cost of sales also declined 20% to Rp414.2 billion, but the company booked gross loss of Rp10.4 billion against gross profit of Rp68 billion in Q1/11.
While operating costs also declined to Rp31.6 billion, Apac Citra reported operating loss of Rp42 billion against operating profit of Rp32 billion in the first quarter of 2011.
Yarn, denim, grey, and uniform are main products of Apac Citra, which had total assets of Rp1.82 trillion or about US$194 million as of March 31, 2012. to read.

23:12:08 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Activists defend role in strikes:

OVER the past two months – since employees at the Tai Yi shoe factory in Hlaing Tharyar township stopped work on May 2 – a strike has occurred every few days in Yangon’s industrial zones. A few have captured a lot of attention, and many have passed with little notice, the workers’ demands quickly resolved.

For most of the thousands of workers who have stopped work, their main complaint is their extremely low basic salary – usually about K8000 a month. But there are other, less well-known reasons for the strikes, namely the environment inside the factory. Many workers have complained during strike negotiations that the managers treat them badly. They are unable to speak during work hours or go to the toilet as often as they need to. Many lose a large proportion of their salary, which is comprised mostly of attendance bonuses, if they take a single day off. read more.

22:42:08 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Half-baked steps keep RMG sector restive:

The government-backed crisis management committees can hardly contribute to reining in violence in the garment sector due to a lack of cooperation among the local lawmakers, garment owners and administrations.

The crisis management committees convene a meeting only when there is an incident of violence although they were supposed to sit every month to discuss the sector.

The labour and employment ministry formed a central crisis management committee and five zonal committees in June 2010 to resolve any crisis in the sector.
read more.

* RMG exporters seek Chinese investment in high-value productive areas:

Local garment manufacturers have sought Chinese investment in the high-value productive areas where the country lacks enough expertise and technology.

The country’s highest foreign currency earners made the plea after the Chinese businessmen had shown their interest to invest in sectors like readymade garment (RMG) in Bangladesh, when a high powered business delegation from China in February last visited Bangladesh to assess investment prospects in the apparel industry here.

Top Chinese companies like Yanger Group, Chinese Group, Syntax, Sansana company, Nimbo Four Signs and Nimbo Signal Luxury Home Apparel have already expressed their willingness to invest in garment industry in Bangladesh.read more.

* UK company to invest $ 6.468m in Adamjee EPZ:

A UK company will invest US dollar 6.458 million in Adamjee Export Processing Zone (AEPZ) to set up a garments manufacturing unit there.
Once set up the fully foreign-owned factory will create employment opportunity for 2,354 Bangladeshi nationals.
An agreement to this effect was signed Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) and M/s London 1st Textile Limited, the British company, at BEPZA Complex at Green Road on Thursday.
Syed Nurul Islam, member (invest promotion), BEPZA, and Chad Miah, managing director of M/s London 1st Textile Limited, inked the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations in the afternoon.
Major General (retd) ATM Shahidul Islam, executive chairman, BEPZA, Shawka Nabi, secretary, AZM Azizur Rahman, general manager (invest promotion), SM Aktar Alam Mostafa, general manaer (public relations) and other officials of BEPZA were present at the signing ceremony, said an official release. to read.

* Garment and knit factories need to be relocated:

During last couple of years we observed devastating unrest in both woven and knit garment factories. Every time such unrest leaves a heavy toll not only on human lives and property, but more than anything such incident causes a serious disruption in production and execution of export orders. Needless to mention, woven and knitting factories have been contributing hugely to Bangladesh economy providing mentionable employment, earning substantial foreign currency, developing new entrepreneurs and a chain of backward linkage industries and so on. No doubt low wages is one of the major factors of resentment amongst the hundreds of thousands of workers as they have to live in urban locations, since the factories are mostly in such locations. Concentration of labour-intensive factories at some prime locations, especially in and around the capital Dhaka is another significant factor that our new generation industrialists ignored at the time of choosing factory sites. If one is to look into the labour unrests that took place during the recent years, it will be quite obvious that concentration of large number of factories in few select urban locations has been one of the key responsible factors.

Now, question may arise how many labour-intensive factories should be located at one place? read more.

22:12:08 local time map of india INDIA

* Government may recast textile sector’s Rs 35,000 crore loan:

The government may throw a lifeline to the debt-laden textile sector by restructuring RS 35,000-crore loan as dipping profit margins and slowing overseas demand raise the spectre of many going out of the business.

This may be the biggest loan recast since the real estate loans rollover, after the Lehman Brothers collapse led to severe stress on their finances.read more.

* Mhada lottery: 6,925 mill workers get low-cost houses:

“After working and struggling in a textile mill for 30 long years, I have now managed to get a decent house for myself.” These were the words of an emotional Mahadeo Ahir, 59, as he bagged a low-cost house under the state government’s scheme of houses for mill workers. The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) on Thursday allotted low-cost houses to 6,925 mill workers through the computerised lottery system at Rang Sharda auditorium in Bandra on Thursday. While some workers held demonstrations against the lottery, the others who did not win blamed Mhada for hurrying with the process. The police personnel prevented the occurrence of any untoward incident. read more.

* Loan growth slows in infra, textile sectors:

Bank loans to the industrial sector registered slower growth in May, compared with the same period of the previous year, due to slowing in credit flow to the infrastructure and textile sectors.

According to the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), loans to the textile sector registered year-on-year growth of seven per cent till May 20, compared with 20.7 per cent a year before. read more.

* India to set up textile cluster in Tanzania:

India will be working on setting up a textile cluster in Tanzania to promote Indian investment in the African nation.

With a bilateral trade volume of USD 1.2 billion, and the trade balance in India’s favour, New Delhi was also looking to consolidate the cordial and strong ties with the African nation, Debnath Shaw, India’s High Commissioner-designate to Tanzania told newspersons here. “We are working with the National Small Industries Development Corporation to foster a growth of SME clusters in a number of African countries including in Tanzania. One of the clusters we are going to work on in the near future and suggested by African Union is a textiles cluster in Tanzania,” Mr Shaw told newspersons here after chairing a meeting with industry body FICCI. read more.

* India’s apparels to become costlier on higher cotton prices:

Get ready to pay more for your apparel wears. Garmenters are set to charge higher as prices of cotton, the biggest input for apparels, will be higher on account of low rainfall for sowing and diverted farmers’ interest.Experts believe the cotton prices for upcoming weeks may move higher in the domestic commodity market on increased buying by textile mills and yarn makers on lower arrivals in the spot market as the harvesting season ended and lower rainfalls across the cotton growing regions delaying the sowing process.According to reports, price of the commodity in the spot market increased by Rs 200-300 per candy (356 a kg). While, the below rainfall forecast for India is also pushing the price of the commodity as the weak rains is delaying the sowing process of the commodity.The Indian Meteorological Department( IMD), India received 24 per cent lesser rains in the ongoing rainy season since June 1 compared to last year.
Already, the area under cotton production fell over 10 per cent for 2012-13 as the farmers turn towards other crops on lower price realisation for the commodity on surplus production. to read. & read more.
  

* Surat textile processors seek rollback of gas price hike:

Textile processors from Surat are seeking a revision in the price of the natural gas supplied to them by the Gujarat Gas Company Limited (GGCL) and are expecting that their case would be heard by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) next week.
GGCL has issued a notice to textile dyeing and printing mills in Surat regarding the 9.6 percent increase in price of natural gas from July 1, 2012. It will mean that textile processors in south Gujarat will end up paying Rs. 29 per standard cubic metre of gas after the new price becomes effective.
There are over 400 textile dyeing and printing units in Surat and many of them use natural gas as a fuel. Their daily demand is estimated to be around 1.5-1.6 million metric standard cubic metre per day (mmscmd). read more.
* THE AHMEDABAD TEXTILE MILLS STRIKES:

* Ahmedabad mill workers call off strike, resume work:

After 26 days of strike, the 7,900 mill workers finally decided to call it off on Friday. Fearing termination, the labourers have resumed work with their respective employers unconditionally. Their demands, of a 40% pay hike as well as interim relief hike of Rs1,600 per month, remain unfulfilled as yet.

Arvind Ltd along with its division, Ankur Textile has decided to take the terminated labourers back with all them having ‘unconditionally’ resumed work from Friday night. However, the companies said that they will hold an enquiry against certain workers, specifically Arvind union leader Yashpal Jaiswal and his team Arvind Ltd as well as Jignesh Patel from Ankur Textile.

India’s largest denim maker, Arvind Ltd issued a statement saying that 50 workers along with the Textile Labour Association (TLA) – also known as Majoor Mahajan Sangh – had met the company’s management including CFO, Jayesh Shah. In the meeting, the workers requested that the company take back those who had been terminated during the strike. read more.

* Textile workers soften stance, seek re-induction:

After several striking workers from various textile mills including Arvind Ltd and Ankur Textiles being sacked, the former have softened their stand in the four-week long battle. Striking workers have requested Textile Labour Association (TLA) to focus on their re-induction to work rather than wage hike.

“We have offered our full support to TLA who have assured us proper negotiations with our employers. As of now we want all our sacked striking workers to be re-inducted. We are also ready for the interim relief of Rs 1,600 per month as of now,” said Yashpal Jaiswal, striking workers’ union leader at Arvind Ltd’s Naroda plant. read more.

21:42:08 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* APTMA criticises gas management efforts:

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Punjab spokesperson has said that exceptionally low pressure gas supply has crippled the textile industry in the province, rendering it unable to operate and has put 10 million jobs at risk.

He alleged that gas supply on the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) network was below the 50% level agreed on contract agreements, while at imes it dropped to zero percent. As per the prevailing schedule, SNGPL is bound to provide uninterrupted gas supply five days a week gas to the industry in Punjab. He said uncertainty over gas availability was not only causing operational losses, but also forcing mills to pay labourers without being able to utilise their services.
read more.

* Textile export industry rejects more cut in weekly gas supply:

Textile export industry has rejected additional one day cut in weekly gas supply to industries and termed it as industrial closure plan and urged the government to shelve the new gas load shedding plan for the sake of economy that is already facing multiple challenges.

This would not only hamper the industrial growth but would also put the jobs of over 15 million workers and exports of 14 billion dollars at stake. In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Chairman Rana Arif Touseef said they were unable to understand the logic behind targeting industrialists time and again under one pretext or the other. Industries were already in dire straits due to long hours’ power cuts and two-day gas closure, he said.
read more.

* Low pressure gas cripples Punjab textile sector – APTMA:

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab spokesman has said that exceptionally low pressure of gas supply has crippled textile industry in Punjab, unable to operate and keep over 10 million jobs intact.

He has further deplored the unilateral decision of SNGPL for unfair and inequitable disconnections of gas supply to textile industry during ATAs of gas fields in July. The SNGPL has not taken the industry stakeholders into confidence, he added.
read more.

* Pakistan govt overturns plan to cut gas supply to industry:

The Pakistan government yesterday overturned a decision of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) to cut gas supplies to the industry in Punjab from five days to four days a week.

Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain issued directions to the gas company to reverse its decision on the intervention of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma). The SNGPL had notified the gas for the industry in the province on the pretext of creating room for increasing supply of the fuel to the independent power producers (IPPs).

The industry including textile, fertiliser and power sectors in Punjab remained without gas for 200 days during the current fiscal year. The Punjab government estimates a GDP loss of 2-3 per cent to the provincial economy because of energy shortages, which have sparked violent protests by industrial workers in many cities. read more.
 

* Cotton market observes firm trading session:

The Karachi cotton market witnessed a firm trading session with fine lint remained in focus amid strong physical prices, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said on Saturday.
During the past week spinners purchased fine lint while sellers with fine grades offered their produce on slightly higher prices at around Rs 6,300 per maund, traders said. The KCA kept the spot rate unchanged on strong demand for lint at Rs 6,100 per maund, floor brokers added. read more.

* Cotton market: prices move up amid mills’ rising demand +:

number of articles:
1. New York cotton ends week on higher note
2. China seeks lower cotton prices, deferrals on poor demand
3. Baig appointed Chairman Pakistan Textile City
4. Prices firm amid active buying by mills on cotton market
5. Low pressure gas supply badly hurts textile industry: APTMA
read more.

map of Asia

CHINA
* China’s sportswear brands nurse Olympics hangover
* China widens pension coverage as population ages
* Global war against textile technology copycats
* Xinjiang raises minimum wages
* Needlework craft given protection following ups and downs
* China named as emerging retail market by AT Kearney Index

THAILAND
* Garments feeling the pinch
* Six working groups to be set up to push Thai exports growth
* Tesco Lotus kicks off new Bt300m Roll Back promotion

CAMBODIA
* Ford Glory workers seek better benefits
* Free Trade Union breaks from ally
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
1. Free Trade Union breaks from ally
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily
2. Free Trade Union splits from Cambodian confederation of unions

SINGAPORE
* Asian Tour names Abacus as official sponsor partner

INDONESIA
* Lower Sales & Margins, Apac Citra’s Losses Expanded

BURMA/MYANMAR
* Activists defend role in strikes

BANGLA DESH
* Half-baked steps keep RMG sector restive
* RMG exporters seek Chinese investment in high-value productive areas
* UK company to invest $ 6.468m in Adamjee EPZ
* Garment and knit factories need to be relocated

INDIA
* Government may recast textile sector’s Rs 35,000 crore loan
* Mhada lottery: 6,925 mill workers get low-cost houses
* Loan growth slows in infra, textile sectors
* India to set up textile cluster in Tanzania
* India’s apparels to become costlier on higher cotton prices
* Surat textile processors seek rollback of gas price hike
* THE AHMEDABAD TEXTILE MILLS STRIKES:
* Ahmedabad mill workers call off strike, resume work
* Textile workers soften stance, seek re-induction

PAKISTAN
* APTMA criticises gas management efforts
* Textile export industry rejects more cut in weekly gas supply
* Low pressure gas cripples Punjab textile sector
* Pakistan govt overturns plan to cut gas supply to industry
* Cotton market observes firm trading session
* Cotton market: prices move up amid mills’ rising demand +

latest tweets (& news)

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2